Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The TTC never fails to surprise me with their lack of ability to respond to a crisis.

This morning, after hearing on the radio that the subway was closed from York Mills to Bloor, I figured I'd have to take one of the "shuttle" buses that were running down Yonge St.

Now, it should be known that there are ALWAYS buses running down Yonge Street.

So I watched as bus after bus passed by without even stopping because they were too full. Good times. Strike one.

So I walked down to Eglinton Station, thinking to catch a bus across Eglinton and get on the University line. I enter Eglinton and hear a subway running down below. Interesting - why wasn't there any signage letting people know that the subway was running again? Strike two.

So I go down to the subway platform. After 10 minutes, an empty subway train passes the packed platform. Five minutes later, another train stops, packed at the doors, and in the middle of the car, jackasses leisurely reading their paper with 5 body lengths between them and the next person. We wouldn't want them to catch a cold by touching the person next to them, now, would we?

Denied. Wait for the next train.

The next train is also full, but by now people need to get on ANY train and don't care if they need to body surf to do it. Caught near the doors, I am carried along by the push from behind into the car. People inside shoot me dirty looks. Because apparently they're too precious to stand in the middle. They need to be closer to the door so that they can get out 20 stops down the road. Grr.

Strike three, four, five?

Seriously, the TTC knows exactly how much traffic they have at that time of the morning. Surely, they could have made a little better effort at getting people to work. This is their JOB and people depend on them for it.

To be fair, it's not just the TTC that upsets me, it's the people. It's the prim little middle manager in the centre of the car, standing arm's length away from the next person, who lives in Richmond Hill in a huge house, got on at Finch station and whose taxes don't even pay for him to use MY transit system but who will readily deny me access if it means his suit won't get wrinkled.

Jerk. Get off my train or start paying for it.


Anonymous said...

1. An improved transit system requires its users to pay for it. Are you prepared to have your fare increased?

2. You know nothing about the logistics of getting more trains into the system on short notice.

3. The TTC loses money. It's subsidized by non users from Toronto. There are thousands of Torontonians subsidizing your use of the subway.

4. How do you know the guy in Richmond Hill is living in a big house? How relevant is the size of his home in the overcrowding in the subway.

5. Are you prepared to never use the services of any other municipality/city because you don't pay taxes there?

6. Do you think that your stress in which you so frequently write about is because you don't take a balanced and pragmatic view of life?

Anonymous said...

Oh please, anonymous. If you're going to attack our Cathy, at least have the balls to use your name.

And besides -- people on the subway ARE jerks. And the ones who come down from the burbs are the biggest jerks of all.

I had to give up taking the subway to work because simply it was too dangerous. By the time the train got to my station it was loaded up with people from the burbs, and none of them ever EVER gave a woman who was eight months pregnant (me) a seat unless I asked repeatedly. Some pretended to be asleep when I asked, even though their eyes were open when I got on the train.

The day I nearly fell over because I wasn't given a seat in time for the train to start up again was the day I decided it just wasn't worth it.

So either the TTC makes their trains more user-friendly, or I ignore their environment-angled plea to buy a metropass. I'd rather spend my $100 on gasoline.


Unknown said...

I can't believe I'm responding to you when you're clearly trying to get a rise out of me. But anyway, here goes...

1. I pay for it. My fare has been increased. I'm prepared for the government/gas tax to pay an increased amount for a service which benefits everyone (benefitting the environment, me and drivers who don't want more traffic congestion).

2. You’re right. The people who run the TTC do – or should.

3. Well, holy crap, you’re kidding. I think everyone knows that it loses money. I don’t think anyone is arguing that it doesn’t. I think we can agree that public transportation is a PUBLIC service; hence people who don’t use it still pay for it so that the public benefits from it as a whole. I don’t get heart bypass surgery either, but you bet your ass that I pay for other people to have them.

4. I think you’re missing a common convention here: this is a theoretical person. So obviously I don’t know whether they actually are FROM Richmond Hill or Aurora or from Lawrence station. The point is that many people choose to live in commuter cities such as Richmond Hill so that they can afford to live in a bigger house and still earn the high salaries paid by Toronto companies. Torontonians get the jacked-up taxes to pay for downtown services and I’ll agree we’re paying for the convenience of living so close to where we work. However, if you know about SMART communities, you’ll know it is also the most environmentally friendly choice. Unfortunately, people who live in the burbs use Toronto’s transportation systems the most (since they have to take them such a long way and so frequently) and pay for them the least. If they pay a lot of taxes, it’s because they should. Their footprint on the earth is on average much greater than mine.

5. I’m not saying that no one should use another city’s services. I actually think that, since this is a PUBLIC service that everyone uses (not just the city’s inhabitants – see point 4), either the provincial or federal governments should be contributing more to such a far-reaching endeavor that improves the lives of its constituents as well as reduces the impact on the earth. That is what I believe government is for.

6. Irrelevant question but I appreciate the personal attack. Don’t pretend you know me because you don’t.
I didn’t mention stress in my post once. In fact, the last time I mentioned stress was January 3rd and that was only to say that I wasn’t stressed out. Previous to that, the last time I mentioned my own stress was on October 19th 2005. I have since taken practical measures to change my job which was a major source of unhappiness in my life. It’s unfortunate that you’re unhappy with the balance in my life. I’m pretty happy with the balance I’ve achieved.